AnandTech Storage Bench - The Destroyer

The Destroyer is an extremely long test replicating the access patterns of very IO-intensive desktop usage. A detailed breakdown can be found in this article. Like real-world usage, the drives do get the occasional break that allows for some background garbage collection and flushing caches, but those idle times are limited to 25ms so that it doesn't take all week to run the test. These AnandTech Storage Bench (ATSB) tests do not involve running the actual applications that generated the workloads, so the scores are relatively insensitive to changes in CPU performance and RAM from our new testbed, but the jump to a newer version of Windows and the newer storage drivers can have an impact.

We quantify performance on this test by reporting the drive's average data throughput, the average latency of the I/O operations, and the total energy used by the drive over the course of the test.

ATSB The Destroyer
Average Data Rate
Average Latency Average Read Latency Average Write Latency
99th Percentile Latency 99th Percentile Read Latency 99th Percentile Write Latency
Energy Usage

Any expectations that the TeamGroup L5 LITE 3D would perform like an entry-level SSD are shattered by the results from The Destroyer. The L5 LITE 3D has about the best overall data rate that can be expected from a TLC SATA drive. The latency scores are generally competitive with other mainstream TLC SATA drives and unmistakably better than the DRAMless Mushkin Source. Even the energy efficiency is good, though not quite able to match the Samsung 860 PRO.

AnandTech Storage Bench - Heavy

Our Heavy storage benchmark is proportionally more write-heavy than The Destroyer, but much shorter overall. The total writes in the Heavy test aren't enough to fill the drive, so performance never drops down to steady state. This test is far more representative of a power user's day to day usage, and is heavily influenced by the drive's peak performance. The Heavy workload test details can be found here. This test is run twice, once on a freshly erased drive and once after filling the drive with sequential writes.

ATSB Heavy
Average Data Rate
Average Latency Average Read Latency Average Write Latency
99th Percentile Latency 99th Percentile Read Latency 99th Percentile Write Latency
Energy Usage

On the Heavy test, the L5 LITE 3D starts to show a few weaknesses, particularly with its full-drive performance—latency clearly spikes and overall throughput drops more than for most mainstream TLC drives. The effect is vastly smaller than the full-drive penalty suffered by the DRAMless competitor. The energy efficiency doesn't stand out.

AnandTech Storage Bench - Light

Our Light storage test has relatively more sequential accesses and lower queue depths than The Destroyer or the Heavy test, and it's by far the shortest test overall. It's based largely on applications that aren't highly dependent on storage performance, so this is a test more of application launch times and file load times. This test can be seen as the sum of all the little delays in daily usage, but with the idle times trimmed to 25ms it takes less than half an hour to run. Details of the Light test can be found here. As with the ATSB Heavy test, this test is run with the drive both freshly erased and empty, and after filling the drive with sequential writes.

ATSB Light
Average Data Rate
Average Latency Average Read Latency Average Write Latency
99th Percentile Latency 99th Percentile Read Latency 99th Percentile Write Latency
Energy Usage

The Team L5 LITE 3D has basically the same overall performance on the Light test as drives like the Crucial MX500. A handful of the latency scores are a bit on the high side, but don't really stand out—the Seagate BarraCuda that uses the old Phison S10 controller with current 3D TLC has more trouble on the latency front, and of course the DRAMless Mushkin Source has by far the worst full-drive behavior. There is a bit of room for improvement on the L5 LITE 3D's energy efficiency, since both the Mushkin Source and Crucial MX500 are clearly better for the empty-drive test runs. The Team drive's efficiency isn't anything to complain about, though.

Introduction Synthetic Benchmarks, Part 1
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  • DanNeely - Friday, September 20, 2019 - link

    In the consumer segment so am I. For an OEM one I can understand more easily, it's performance is still better than a typical eMMC while being between the eMMC and a 240GB m.2. Going into sub $500 systems even a few dollars on the BOM are significant because margins are so low, and this offers a cheaper upgrade from eMMC than the 240 which like you I'd strongly recommend spending the extra few bucks for if building a system.
  • Kristian Vättö - Friday, September 20, 2019 - link

    Ryan & Billy,

    I have to agree with some of the other commenters here that the conclusion is inconclusive and is primarily focused on price and performance, which are obviously important, but should not be the only factors in consideration when recommending a drive. A few points that I feel were left out in the conclusion:

    1. NAND switching has always been a big no-no. Why? Because it's impossible to guarantee that an end-user will receive a drive with the same BOM. While the review unit has competitive performance, what if it is the highest performing of the known four variants? For example, going from 256Gbit dies to 512Gbit dies could easily halve the write performance and substantially change the ATSB numbers. At a minimum, AT should request Team to disclose the different NAND configurations along with their internal performance data, so that a first degree conclusion of the performance between the different variants could be drawn.

    2. Reliability has very little to do with the physical controller. It's a piece of silicon like a CPU and rarely fails unless subjected to extraordinary environmental conditions (heat, humidity etc). What matters are the firmware and NAND. Firmware in this case is likely just a standard SMI FW with minimal modifications, so that’s not much of a risk. But the NAND is a big question mark. It being Team branded means it’s not a qualified component from a NAND vendor, but something that has been packaged by 3rd party. That opens a possibility for using unqualified NAND i.e. dies that don’t meet the NAND vendors’ specs, such as having too many bad blocks from the beginning. Many of these Tier2/3 SSDs mix good and bad dies to drive the cost down and that’s also why most of them are 240GB instead of 250 or 256GB since the extra spare area helps to cover more bad blocks. Of course it’s no guarantee that the drive will fail prematurely, but there is always a reason why a certain product is cheaper than others.

    3. Amazon/NewEgg reviews are not bulletproof, but serve as a good first degree reality check, especially if the drive has already been in the market for a while. With 27% 1-star reviews, I would personally not have the guts to recommend the drive unless it’s substantially (>20%) cheaper than any household SSD brand/model.

    4. RMA process and general support are areas that have more importance now since the performance differences between SATA SSDs especially are becoming minor. Some vendors offer very good terms with e.g. advance replacement, which can be highly important if the SSD is used in a primary system. Including a paragraph on the company’s policy would be something I recommend as it can be a real headache especially with lesser known brands (e.g. long response time, need to wait weeks for a replacement etc). It may not be possible for AT to test the process, but the key aspects can be covered with a paper comparison.

    None of these points mandate an overhaul of the conclusion as the Lite 3D may very well be an excellent choice for a budget-focused buyer, but at least there should be a disclaimer of the caveats to raise the question whether saving $5 or $10 is worth it over a safe, well-known Tier1 brand.
  • sheh - Friday, September 20, 2019 - link


    Furthermore, on the topic of random NAND types in the same model, since the drive here was provided by the manufacturer, it's almost certain they provided the best variant. For all we know it could be a NAND type they don't even use anymore.
  • Kenaz - Friday, September 20, 2019 - link

    Find it good that also low-priced products are tested. To my knowledge Anandtech should be the first to give a Team L5 Lite 3D SSD a professional test.
    I wrote last year for the 120GB and 240GB model of this SSD series two user reviews on Hardwareluxx Germany and was a bit impressed by the performance for a budget drive. Since then I have recommended this SSD series as a possible budget option. Both SSDs run now for 1 / 1.5 years without problems and good S.M.A.R.T. values.

    A long-term write test would be interesting to see how much terrabyte TBW the unknown NAND can withstand. Would this be possible with Anandtech? :)

    Translated with
  • MDD1963 - Saturday, September 21, 2019 - link

    $96 for 1 TB is priced attractively, but, I think I'd just spring the extra $5-10 on Crucial's MX500...; it would need to be $68.99 to get me to risk it! :)
  • ballsystemlord - Monday, September 23, 2019 - link

    Billy, having to click to see each image slows down the experience, could you guys just allow the page to load most or all of the images? Please?
  • takeshi7 - Wednesday, September 25, 2019 - link

    I have two of these 480GB drives and one 240GB drive. I was so impressed with the first one I got two more for other PCs. Really great value, but the gold color doesn't match common PC colors.
  • MASSAMKULABOX - Wednesday, October 16, 2019 - link

    Might be worth asking them when and why they change the NAND variety. I know its going to be price, but what stops them using DongCrap NAND? , what is their Baseline criteria ..## commercially sensitive Blah blah. Maybe they are hoping that three years is good enough until 480 layer Penta cell NAND takes over. Price IS the main consideration when buying sata drives tho ...
  • MASSAMKULABOX - Wednesday, October 16, 2019 - link

    £124 for 1tb AMZ/uk , so not even in the running really ...
  • Scour - Friday, July 10, 2020 - link

    I hoped to get more info about this SSD, but it looks like a flameware about the brand.

    I don´t know how many of these ppl who flamed about Teamgroup ever had a article from this brand, but probably not many.

    I have my L3 since almost 4 years and it never had problems and it´s still faster than many newer entry-level-SSDs.

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